It’s not uncommon for the homes of famous figures to hit the market, but rarely does the lucky buyer also acquire the individual’s creative sanctuary.
For celebrity chef, television personality, and cultural icon Julia Child, her first home—located in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood—was where she produced recipes for one of her earliest cookbooks, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She called the yellow clapboard house her “little jewel,” and lived there with her husband Paul from 1948 to 1961. And now, it could be yours. After six years of extensive renovations, the home has hit the market for $3.5 million. Leading the charge of the restoration is current owner Rory Veevers-Carter, a software entrepreneur and master home flipper, who has documented the “story of the renovation” on his Instagram page, Little Jewel on Olive.
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“I was looking for a rundown piece of property in Georgetown,” Veevers-Carter told The Washington Post in 2019, and Child’s “dilapidated” 19th century clapboard house was the perfect project to take on. While the home itself was in shambles, its history is priceless. Child was rumored to have taught cooking classes to D.C.’s social set during her time at 2706 Olive Street, and the history even predates Child’s purchase of the property. Built in a post-Civil War era by a notable African American carpenter, Edgar Murphy, the house is, as the listing describes it, “part of a vibrant tapestry of African American influence in Washington, DC during the Reconstruction era.”
Child purchased the home with her husband in the late ’40s, and in the ’70s, acclaimed architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen—best known for designing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s home in Martha’s Vineyard—modernized the home, adding a wall of windows that are still in tact today. Unfortunately, other remaining original details are limited, as the home became run down after years of neglectful tenants, including students from Georgetown University.
If Julia Child were alive today, however, she’d likely be grateful that the property landed in the hands of Veevers-Carter, who restored the 3,275-square-foot house to its original charm…with some modern enhancements. According to the listing, many of the contemporary upgrades actually pay homage to Child, who was known to love the latest culinary gadgetry. This approach is most apparent in the kitchen, which, with its stainless steel Viking appliances, eight-burner cooktop stove, double stacked ovens, wooden hearth, and temperature-controlled wine fridge, is any modern home cook’s dream. The kitchen leads out to a large private patio, perfect for growing herbs, entertaining, or planting a small garden *chef’s kiss*.
The home includes three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, constructed with clean lines, modern lighting fixtures, exposed brick and beams, and large windows. It’s a light-filled property and a blank canvas, perfect for the inspired homeowner. And if you’re looking for inspiration of the culinary variety, you’re in luck. There’s no better place to discover the joys of cooking.
View the listing, held by Katie Scire of Redfin, here.
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